Paint Projects, Ideas, and Patterns

Got the itch to paint? Get inspired and try one of these decorative painting projects to personalize your home or update your furniture. Most of the projects won't take more than a weekend, but the results will last for years.


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Pink mirrors and frames on dresser
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Three-Way Mirror

    A few coats of paint can transform an old mirror frame, and the fresh effect is amplified when the look is multiplied. While one mirror would have been impactful, a trio of mirrors ups the wow factor. Simply mask off the mirrors and paint the frames a hue that matches your decor

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Chair Flair

    Use fabric and paint to update a past-its-prime chair. Sand and paint the wooden chair frame, then recover it with desired fabric. Add a monogram to personalize the piece by centering a stencil on the chair back and using fabric or latex wall paint to apply the design.

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Made in the Shade

    A plain lampshade is the perfect venue for painted motifs. This one, embellished with zinnias, is easily re-created with the help of a rubber stamp, a sheet of clear acetate, and a soft palette of sunshine-and-shadow green hues.

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Remove and Revive

    This standard dining set received a crisp update with white paint. When revamping furniture, don't be afraid to remove decorative elements that don't suit your style. (Just make sure they aren't integral to the function or structure of the piece.) Dated medallions were removed from the table legs to give the set a more current aesthetic. The holes were filled with wood filler and given a light sanding. Then the entire set was primed and painted. Covering the seats with a graphic fabric completes the fresh, cheery look.

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Distressed Design

    To give a utilitarian storage piece vintage character, prime it first, then apply a dark base coat. Let it dry, then apply a brighter top coat. Use 100-grit sandpaper and an electric sander to expose areas of the dark base coat. Use a hand sander to rough up trim and molding.

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Dramatic Impact

    Anchor a kitchen island by painting it a darker shade than the rest of your cabinets and by selecting a countertop made of a contrasting material, such as wood. These doors and drawer fronts were spray-painted, but you can also get a smooth finish with a self-leveling paint.

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Leafy Keen

    Give an ordinary cabinet personality with a facade of large tropical fronds. Stenciled on an artist's canvas, these fronds are rendered in three green hues. Stencil one leaf color, let it dry, and then reposition the stencil, slightly overlapping the first to add dimension. Turn the canvas into a door by screwing on hinges and a painted wooden knob.

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Aged to Perfection

    Bring signature style to a basic white dresser with a few coats of dry-brushed paint and a set of antique handles. Milk paint provides this dresser with a rich-looking finish, and narrow trim on the drawers gives the once-flat structure dimension. Antiquing glaze rubbed over the entire surface completes the transformation.

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Lighter than Lace

    Brighten a basic colored lamp base with delicate motifs. A white oil-pant marker is the perfect tool to put your sketches in the spotlight. Draw simple spirals and interlocking paisley or flower patterns for an intricate look. Start at the top and work your way down for best results.

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Painted Rug

    A scrap of sheet vinyl flipped upside down makes the perfect canvas for creative paint projects. Prime the surface, then cover it in two layers of latex paint. Mask off a border for the dot pattern and create pattern guidelines using painter's tape. Dapple a foam stencil brush and one end of a sponge on the vinyl surface to create this graphic pattern.

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Mushroom Motifs

    Adorable curvy mushroom silhouettes wake up a secondhand dresser. To get the look, paint an old dresser with a base coat of silver-blue latex paint and let it dry. Cut out different-size mushroom shapes from contact paper. Attach the shapes to the dresser in a fun, graphic pattern, and paint a second coat of bright green paint over the silver coat. Carefully peel off the mushroom cutouts.

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Pretty in Paint

    Pick a palette of bold paint colors and fun patterns to personalize a dining room space. An oversize cane pattern painted on one wall offers a bold background for bright hues throughout the room. After painting the wall's base coat, use painter's tape to make a grid pattern (for best results, add any angled lines last), and then paint over the design with your desired background color. Let the paint dry completely, and then remove the tape.

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Boost Curb Appeal

    Easy paint projects aren't just for your home's interior. Brush a little color on your home's exterior for instant curb appeal. Try painting the front door, a simple, done-in-a-weekend project, a favorite shade that coordinates with other exterior elements and the surrounding landscape.

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Metal Caddy

    Organize in style with a painted metal caddy. To get this look, choose two colors, one for the base and one for the honeycomb pattern, plus a third to paint a few sections at random as a whimsical accent. Complete this project with our free stencil pattern and step-by-step instructions.

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Personalize Your Bedroom

    Dress up a wooden headboard with paint and a stencil. First paint the headboard with your desired base color. Once dry, position a stencil on the headboard and tape in place, and fill in the pattern with a contrasting paint color.

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